Busy Season Tips and Tricks for Your Intuit Tax Softwareby
At this time of year when many of you work long hours – six and sometimes seven days a week – being efficient in your tax practice is a premium. And if you are working with any technology, especially your tax software, the last thing you need are problems or complicated issues slowing you down.
Below you will find a list of important time-saving tips and tricks for Intuit’s Lacerte, ProSeries, and Intuit Tax Online. I believe these features will make your life easier and, ultimately, simplify your work during this ever-hectic season – and beyond.
1. Missing Client Data Utility. As you are reviewing a return, you can flag input fields with missing data in the Detail screens, which are then displayed with a red-dotted line around them. The field being tagged may also contain “questionable” data – information you are not sure about. You can then create an email message to send to the client alerting them of the needed information. When you receive information back from your client, you can jump directly to the input fields from within the Missing Data tool.
2. Jump to Input. This feature allows you to navigate from a calculated amount on a tax form directly back to the input field(s) that comprise the computed value. Right click on the calculated amount, select “Jump to input,” and the product will display a window with all impacted input fields. You can then drill in and make any necessary adjustments (also available in Intuit Tax Online).
3. Tick Marks. While reviewing a tax return from the Forms tab, Lacerte offers the ability to put “tick marks” on the return. Click once on a field and a green tick mark appears indicating you have checked that amount. If the value changes later, the tick mark turns red indicating it needs to be re-checked.
1. Customizable HomeBase View. Go to the HomeBase menu and select Column Headings. From there, you can add, delete, or move the columns in the current view. You can also click and drag column headings in HomeBase to resize or rearrange columns. Clicking on a column heading allows you to sort the contents in the column in either direction.
2. QuickZoom. A common and easy way to jump to a new form is the QuickZoom feature. There are two types of QuickZooms. You can either click the “QuickZoom” button on a form, or press the magnifying glass when you are on a field. The magnifying glass will take you to the most common entry form, schedule, or worksheet.
3. QuickEntry Mode. If you have a client who you need to enter a lot of assets for, use QuickEntry Mode and the Asset List to simplify your entries. To get to the Asset List, you need to be on one of the four main fields on the Asset Entry Worksheet (Description, Date Placed in Service, Cost, or Type of Asset), and then click on the Switch to QuickEntry Mode icon.
Intuit Tax Online Tips
1. Enhanced Input Search. You can quickly find what you need within the input area by using the search box that is located in the left navigation panel. Simply enter all or part of a form number, line description, box number, or value within the return. The search will narrow down the results automatically and take you to where you need to be within the return. This can greatly assist you with finding areas you may not be familiar with, as well as help you do a quick audit for the return.
2. TaxHub. You can track the work for your firm by using multiple data views. Within the Tax Returns page, you can view your work by clicking above the titles at the top of the page and selecting “By Return Type.” The different views available include: By Return Type, By EF Progress, and By Return Status. Each view allows you to sort and filter the data based on the type of view.
3. Intuit Link. You can invite your client to Link (client portal) from our pro tax products and send a personalized engagement letter, checklist, and questionnaire. Then, you can find out when your client accepts your invitation and track client progress. Your clients complete their personalized checklist and share tax data from any device, including uploads, snapping pictures, or directly from their financial institution (available in all three products).
I hope these tips and tricks will help you save some precious time so you can review more tax returns, or just free up some time to spend with your friends and family. If you have your own favorite time-saving tips, please share them in the comment box below – your fellow tax preparers will thank you.
Mike D'Avolio is senior tax analyst with the Intuit Professional Tax Group, he has been a small business tax expert for more than 20 years and serves as the primary liaison with the IRS for tax law interpretation matters, manages all technical tax information, and...